Ecclesiastical court judgments – October and November

Review of recent ecclesiastical court judgments

Ecclesiastical court judgments in October and November have addressed the areas listed below, in which issues relating to exhumation have featured strongly.  Re Welton Road Cemetery Daventry attracted interest in the media and local  radio, and likewise, the CDM hearing of a further complaint against the Revd David George Huntley. Separate post have been published on both cases.

Prior to the publication of this post, agreement was reached between the parties in Re St. Botolph Longthorpe, the first hearing and Arches Court order of 6 October 2017 of which are summarized here. The Victorian Society has published a Press Release on the proceedings, and we will post a longer review at a later date. Likewise, a future post will summarize the lessons to be learned by PCCs from Re St Bartholomew Old Whittington. Continue reading

“Cohabitation, cohabitation, cohabitation”: Smith

The rights of cohabiting couples – or the lack of them – have been in the news for the last week or so. In her recent Times interview (£), as well as calling for no-fault divorce in England and Wales Lady Hale voiced support for new legal rights for unmarried couples. The number of unmarried couples living together has more than doubled in recent years, from 1.5 million in 1996 to 3.3 million in 2017; and on Monday, Resolution, formerly known as the Solicitors Family Law Association, published the results of a ComRes survey which found that:  Continue reading

A prenup for Harry and Meghan?

Should Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have a prenup?

Dr Sharon Thompson, Senior Lecturer in Law at Cardiff University, has kindly written this timely post on the possibility of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle entering into a prenuptial agreement. Sharon is the author of the acclaimed book Prenuptial Agreements and the Presumption of Free Choice.

Almost as soon as actress Meghan Markle’s engagement to Prince Harry was announced, The Times published advice from English family lawyers suggesting the couple sign a prenup. ‘It is absolutely vital’, one interviewee said, because ‘there will always be concerns that in case of any future divorce, royal assets could end up being lost’.

However, this view must be treated with caution. I will explain why by addressing the arguments put forward in The Times article and by drawing on research from my book Prenuptial Agreements and the Presumption of Free Choice (Thompson 2015). Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 26th November

A week in which marriage and cohabitation were much in the news and GAFCON claimed its first scalp (or should that be bonnet?) in Scotland…

Unrecognised religious marriages

A survey for The Truth about Muslim Marriage, a documentary broadcast on Channel 4 on Tuesday, suggested that as many as 200,000 Muslim couples may be living in unregistered marriages. The survey of 923 Muslim women revealed that while 78 per cent wanted their marriages to be legally valid, 61 per cent had had a nikah ceremony only. It also suggested that some 28 per cent of those women who had married in a nikah ceremony were unaware that it did not give them the same rights and protections as a legally-recognised marriage. Continue reading